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Radiance album cover
Radiance: - Blessings
Radiance: - Dreams
Radiance: - Laughter
A Glimpse
Up From The Skies
Half Moon
Jagged Threads
Maganandang Araw
Dreams Alternate Take
Laughter Alternate Take
Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 50:08

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Wondering Sound

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Ken Micallef


Ken Micallef has covered music for all the usual suspects, including DownBeat, Electronic Musician, the Grammies, and Rolling Stone. His first book, Classic Roc...more »

Susie Ibarra Trio, Radiance
2004 | Label: Hopscotch Records

The missing link between free jazz and Gamelan drumming, drummer/leader Susie Ibarra exudes an innate sense of form and flow, her drumming as rhythmically startling as it is melodically beautiful. Often dragging bells and percussion over the drums as her sticks delicately dance on the cymbals, Ibarra is that rare free jazz musician who always maintains a definitive pulse, even at its most subliminal level. Awarded Jazziz's Best New Talent of the Year in 1998,… read more »

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Solid Album


**** Ibarra has been a brilliant drummer for a good long time now. Her own work is intricate and layered, unlike the music she made with the hardblowing David Ware Quartet.

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Curate's Egg


Well, I would argue with the esteemed Mr. Micallef. Like the egg shape pictured on the cover, this session is only good in parts. Both the violin and Ibarra's percussion are on occasion irritating - too much noodling and not enough music. Nonetheless, the good tracks are well worth listening to again and again. Personally, having done so, I would not recommend you download the alternate takes.

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Who would argue with the esteemed Mr. Micallef? As usual, his review is right on; Ibarra is huge talent. Gobble this one up.

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They Say All Music Guide

Drummer Susie Ibarra has in her short time as a leader, assembled a trio that shines so brightly it seems incomprehensible that their “radiance” could be captured in a studio recording. Nonetheless, Radiance is the evidence of this band’s wondrous versatility, taste and collective musicianship. Ibarra plays drums and assorted percussion. Veteran pianist Cooper-Moore (in his most understated performance on record) also plays harp and diddley-bo and violinist Charles Burnham from James Blood Ulmer’s Odyssey band, join her. Over nine tracks, including the heartbreakingly beautiful title suite, Ibarra and company virtually reinvent modern jazz, carrying its rampant improvisational excesses over the edge into contoured statements of lithe chromatic lyricism and tact, and, creating a compositional framework for the expression of true collective and individual creativity. Radiance’s three parts are a jazz folk suite. Ibarra’s percussive subtleties are layered over by gorgeous violin work from Burnham playing parsed phrases and elliptical Eastern melodies as Moore offers the harp as a bridge between the two carrying forth melody and rhythm entwined. On the last movement he uses the diddley-bo as a contrapuntal device to Burnham’s pastoral yet elegant lines. Further, there exists a wildly inventive cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Up From the Skies,” with a gorgeous percussion and drum solo that is so sparse in its beginnings one would never guess that a tune follows it. When the melody finally does enter it’s through the back door, with Burnham playing through a wah-wah pedal to bring it out a struggling note at a time. Still it moves and gives way to a phenomenal jam in the center, full of funk and groove. “Jagged Threads” is a Latin-tinged jazz variation on the tango. Cooper-Moore’s depth of field here comes in handy, because it’s his pacing and multifaceted solo that keeps the tune both focused yet expands its reach with multiples of arpeggiated scales filling up the intervals in the middle when the melody gives way harmonically, yet allowing Burnham to bring it back without a stitch. There are alternate takes of “Dreams” and “Laughter” from Radiance that fill the set, and given their striking melodic invention and extrapolated sense of Eastern harmonic sensibilities and their truly beautiful architecture, they stand alone as well as they do within the suite. This is the band to watch, folks. – Thom Jurek

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